Facebook is far more than the name “social media” implies. It has become one of the most effective marketing venues the world has even seen. So why is it that, although you’ve created a Facebook page for their business, it just sits there? Why don’t people notice it? With countless people with Facebook accounts, why do you have only two fans after an entire year of exposure? Well, it might depend on your concept of exposure. And it might amaze you that there is nothing new under the sun.
Imagine, if you will, a town square a century or more ago. People are coming and going, walking around, visiting friends and neighbors. Scattered around the square are merchants with carts filled with various and sundry goods for sale. There’s even a ‘snake oil salesman’ touting his latest cure for the gout. Amidst all the product there is a stand where a politician is making promises he won’t keep if elected. And there’s the charity, Mothers Against Chewing Tobacco Husbands (MATCH), handing out samples so the public can taste the nasty stuff themselves.
Now hold that thought. What you’ve got in that town square is an early form of Facebook. It’s a public place where the community comes together to visit, to gossip, to learn what’s going on, to get up on the soapbox to share their opinions, and to market their company or cause.
Now, let’s go back to the square. As you mingle, you begin to realize that this might just be the right place to sell your new idea for a flyswatter, so you arrange for your own space next week and you set up a table. Then you sit behind your table and wait for people to stop by. There you are, quietly waiting for something to happen – you, your chair, your table, and your flyswatter. A few people have stared in your direction, looking as if they are wondering what you are doing there. After awhile you starting thinking that this was a stupid idea, and you while away your time swatting flies.
Actually, it was the start of a great idea. Just showing up rarely works on its own. But showing up with a plan that gets people’s attention and ideas that draw them to your table will begin to garnish you some sales.
You see, the essence of marketing is the same, whether it’s down at the town square or whether it’s on Facebook. We’re about to share some ideas that will draw crowds to your Facebook page or you table on the town square.
Rule Number 1: Let People Know You Are There. - Tell people that you are “in the square and open for business.” Tell people you are on Facebook and tell them where to find you. Tell them everywhere you go. Advertise everywhere they go. It’s called cross-promotion. Put up banner ads on associate websites. Do you have a business card? Put your Facebook address on it – and do it prominently, not in teeny- tiny fine print. PROMOTE IT! Every email you send should have a link to your Facebook page. Every print ad should feature your Facebook page. Incorporate “Like” buttons for your page on other websites. And always – underline that – always talk about your Facebook page during every phone call, incoming or outgoing. Finally, create a sense of urgency. For example, “Don’t miss out on this one-time offer.” HERE’S A BONUS IDEA: Create a QR code and put in on all of your print collateral, even your business cards. They are cheap and easy to create and they can drive anyone with a smart phone to your page or website almost instantly.
Rule Number 2: Don’t Just Be There. Have A Purpose. - Not everyone needs a Facebook page. But everyone with a product or cause to promote does. Share your passion on your page. Let people know what you are all about. Let them know what supporting your cause can do for others. Let them know what your product can do for them. Then, go back to Rule Number 1. and cross-promote by driving them to your website(s).
Rule Number 3: Make Their Visit Worthwhile. - Post valuable content on your page. Interesting content is okay, but valuable content is better. Tell them something they don’t know. It might be something unique about yourself, your product, or your company. It might be something newsworthy. Or it might be an exclusive offer of some kind, a discount, or a coupon. Somewhere on that page, offer something that they cannot get anywhere else, whether it’s material, philosophical, information, or even humor. If a visitor to your page considers what you have to say or offer is valuable, they have a reason to visit again. Speaking of which . . .
Rule Number 4: Give Them a Reason to Return - Create contests and have giveaways. Post teasers about upcoming articles or freebies. Link these ideas to things such as visiting your website and finding a hidden item. Create a contest whereby the person who refers the most new fans to your page receives a prize and some special recognition. Run short contests and year-long contests at the same time. Always tie contests to building your fan base. And keep your content fresh. Even people who were interested on their first visits will not keep returning if there is nothing new and interesting on your page. Keep creating that sense of urgency that originally drove them to your site to get them to return.
Rule Number 5: Encourage Interaction - This is the a la mode on the pie, the icing on the cake, the gold nugget in the stream. As you comply with the first four rules, do it so intensely that people will “Like” or “Share” or “Comment” on what you have posted. This is where the magic happens. “Liking”, “Sharing”, and “Commenting” are what make things go viral. When someone Likes, Shares, or Comments on Facebook, it’s like Gossip Gone Wild. And when that happens, the increase in readership could become astronomical. Don’t wait on them to Like, Share, or Comment. Encourage them to do it.
By now you should realize that it’s not having a Facebook page that is the secret to success, it’s how you promote it and use it. Tell folks it’s great. Then prove it to them when they visit. If you’ve followed the rules, not only will they return, they’ll bring Friends, and Friends of Friends, with them. And the Friends of their Friends’ Friends will follow.
Gone are the days when all you need to do to run an online business is to build a website, send it to the major Search Engines and wait for visitors to come. Today, you need to proactively drive highly qualified traffic to it and convert visitors into clients.
Search Engine Marketing is not just presenting flashy website, people are no longer buying that. What you need today is to find a hungry niche and sell them your product or services. The question then is how to drive a great deal of hungry visitors into your website. Here is a five-tiered approach to accomplish that:
1. Search Engine Optimization - It is a fact in online marketing that people will mostly see your website through the Search Engines. It is therefore imperative that the major ones at least (Google, Yahoo and Bing), will find it so that they can feed it to those who are searching. This means that your website should be Search Engine Optimized so their robots can crawl and index your pages. This will greatly influence your ranking in the search results.
2. PPC advertising - Instead of waiting for months to see results from organic SEO strategies, pay-per-click or PPC will give you results within weeks. Through paid advertising, you can then identify which keywords are often search and thus, will be viable in your organic SEO. Although this means you have to spend a little bit of money, the returns are great and that is why you should not neglect this strategy as well.
3. Social networking - The success of websites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube has taken Internet marketing to new territories. No longer do we bring clients to our websites, we bring our websites to where they are gathered and from there, hope that things will take off. It is therefore the job of the online marketer to seize the opportunities presented by captured and possibly hungry niche because these websites have the power to bring huge awareness to your brand.
4. Link building - No website is an island and that is why you have to build bridges to yours. If you can build links to authority websites, this will make your more credible and authoritative. If a visitor finds a link to your site from Wikipedia for example, he will think that you are indeed genuine in your desire to help and will remove the stigma of selling in his mind.
5. Blogging with targeted keywords - The purpose of blogging with targeted keywords is two-fold; to drive traffic and to pre-sell visitors to the helpfulness of your product or service. If you don’t target keywords with your blog, visitors will not find it even if they want to. On the other hand, even if you can drive traffic to your website, but you are not able to convince them of the usability of your product or service, they will also not buy from you. Blogging with targeted keywords then requires the mixture of naturally incorporating keywords into your blog and be as convincing as possible without being too pushy with your prospects.
This five-tiered approach to Search Engine Marketing will ensure that you are able to drive a highly qualified traffic to your website, convert visitors into clients and increase your revenue. Often times they overlap, nevertheless, they work hand in hand to drive that much needed traffic so that your online marketing success is guaranteed.
It probably is pretty safe to assume that E-Mail Fundraising is not a flash in the pan, but, rather, will be a major weapon in the arsenal of every email marketing firm in the nation for ad infinitum. Scattered across the world wide web is tidbits of information and suggestions posted by various e-mail marketing experts meant to help give a better understanding of email marketing. While each and everyone may be valuable, it could be painstakingly difficult to fetter them out and paint a picture with a broad enough scope to actually let you know how to attain success in this realm. That’s why, as successful email marketing professional, I thought it would be prudent to take time to share a plethora of suggestions that have helped Pathmaker Marketing, LLC in their quest of becoming a successful professional e-mail marketing firm in the realm of e-fundraising. So, below is a comprehensive “what to do” guide for enjoying E-mail Fundraising success.
1. TEST - TEST - TEST - Constantly. In email fundraising there are some variables that you can control and some that you can’t. What you can control is when you send and how you design your emails and how you design your Landing Pages. What you can’t control is what’s happening in the news and how people feel about the economy. As a result, you want to make sure that you are using your very best efforts in the areas you do control in your quest for funds.
One thing you will want to do is run “split tests” - double, triple, or quadruple splits. You should run these on your creatives, as different versions can have different texts and/or graphics. You test to see what is working this month or week, and by testing you mitigate against ineffective efforts. Multiple versions of your email will enhance your chance for success, and serves as a bit of insurance.
WHEN YOU SPLIT TEST BE SURE YOU CAN TRACK RESULTS SEPERATELY. You must be able to tell how much money each email raised separately.
2. BUILD YOUR INTERNAL FILES - Understandably, your donor file will always give you the most return on any given e-mail. Next would be your internal prospecting file and finally any external prospecting file. As a point of clarification, the internal prospecting file are those people who have shown an interest in your organization but have not donated and, as one would expect, are more apt to give than any external list. In other words, the “priority order” is to solicit those who have given before, those who have shown an interest in you, and lastly strangers.
3. GET A DECENT ESP - To conduct an E-mail Fundraising campaign you must have an Email Service Provider (ESP). Basically, there are three types - Entry Level, Intermediate, and Advanced. There are a variety of things that will differentiate ESPs. One is the size of your list. Another consideration is the “billing” process. Typically, for Intermediate and Advanced ESPs billing is “volume based,” while for the Entry Level ESPs it is “file size” based. Functionality is another determining factor: The more advanced the greater the number of functions - especially in the realms of integration and reports. As can be expected, the more advanced your ESP the more expensive it will be.
An example of an entry level ESP is iContact, and will usually be used when your mailing list is 10,000 or less. Bronto would be a middle level ESP, and is for the organization whose list is 10,000 - 100,000. An advanced ESP is for lists of 100,000+, and a good example of this would be Exec Target.
4. NO CSS WHEN CODING E-MAIL IN HTML - What is often overlooked is the fact that that if you use CSS it will be stripped by many email clients. For example, G-mail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and MacMail all tend to strip out CSS. If your email is driven by your custom style sheet and it gets deleted by the email client you will have a problem. Your email might show up looking fine, or it might look like garbage. As a result, you would be better off using “old school” HTML 101 table formats.
5. DESIGN AND CODE TO 600 PIXELS WIDE - At that width your e-mail will render okay in a number of environments, such as PC, iPad and mobile phones. If you code to wider you will force people to sideward scroll, which some may consider too much work!
6. PUT MORE EFFORT INTO YOUR LANDING PAGES THAN YOUR E-MAIL ‘CAUSE YOU CAN'T’ TRANSACT ANY BUSINESS IN AN E-MAIL - Remember, no matter how good your email is you can’t take a credit card with it! If your landing page is “broken,” the whole process is broken. The e-mail is what “hooks” people, but the landing page is what will “seal the deal.” Like a good salesman, your landing page is your “closer.”
7. UTULIZE E-MAIL FUNDRAISING STRATEGIES - Any successful endeavor is the result of developing and implementing specific strategies, and e-mail fundraising is no exception. Below is a list of strategies that you should plan on employing:
- E-mails tied to current events
- Monthly “themed” Email Campaigns
- Direct Mail/E-mail Combo
- Media/E-mail Combo
- “Stand Alone” E-mail Fundraising Campaign
8. E-MAIL CAN WORK WITH DIRECT MAIL - Send your Direct Mail offer first. Then, send an email with the same offer seven to ten days later. This over-all combination will give you lift, as the email will remind people of the mailer they received.
9. ADD “READ MORE” LINKS INTO YOUR COPY - Writing an e-mail fundraiser piece is a little different than writing a direct mailer piece. In the former you might stop a thought in mid-paragraph and put in a “read more,” having your email serve as somewhat of a “teaser.”
10. STUDY THIS HEURISTIC TO LEARN A SIGNIFICANT LESSON FROM E-MAIL EXPERT FLINT McGOUGHLIN
eMe = rv(o+i ) - (f+a)
The effectiveness of your Message = relevance of your offer (offer + incentive) less (friction + anxiety)
In essence, this is saying that the advantages of your offer and incentive needs to outweigh the recipient’s reluctance to reply positively to your offer, plus the anxiety he might feel in doing so. “Friction” deals with the ease of your check out procedure. Asking for as little information as is necessary, and keeping the checkout process as short as possible can minimize it. Said simply, “Anxiety” is the general reluctance someone might have in doing business on the Internet.
11. USE THIS FINAL CHECKLIST BEFORE YOU HIT “SEND”
Ask Did my test e-mail:
- Allow me to go through checkout
- Have a subject line with no issues
- Have working links
- Display Properly
- Have contact’s name, address and telephone number
So you’ve got a website for your business. How is that working out for you? Are people finding you on the internet? Are you gaining customers from your website? Or is it like one of those tools you have lying on the workbench in the garage – It’s there, but nobody is using it.
More than likely you have a beautiful, colorful and well-designed web page. If it’s like most websites, it has a counter to show how many hits your site has been getting. A 100 on that counter is like saying, “We’ve gone a hundred miles,” but it doesn’t tell you which direction you are going or how much farther you need to go. And it doesn’t tell you how many of those hits, if any, have become new customers.
Let’s illustrate it another way. Say you’re going to have a garage sale. You’re probably going to place a classified ad and put up some posters. Simply putting an ad in a newspaper doesn’t mean that it’s going to get read. You make sure that your ad is listed under “Garage Sales” because that is where people who are “garage sailing” will look. You might even specify a bold border around your ad to make it stand out in the crowd. Then there are the posters. Where are you going to post them? You are going to pick out highly-visible, strategic locations where they will catch people’s attention. Now imagine that your garage sale is your website. You not only set up your garage sale site, but common sense told you to utilize at least two powerful, but simple ways to DIRECT PEOPLE TO YOUR SITE.
The same methodology applies to having an effective website. Except that there are many more ways to direct potential customers to your site. These methods cost less than a newspaper ad, magic markers, and poster board. In fact, they cost you NOTHING.
The only way to know if something is effective is to measure its potential and its results. Having a cool website is good, but having a website that increases your business is GREAT! And there is a way to KNOW how effective your site is. Pathmaker Marketing LLC has developed a unique method for measuring the potential and effectiveness of your site. It’s called a Visibility Report. And here’s the best part: It’s FREE – absolutely FREE. And it’s accessible right here on the Pathmaker website.
With no obligation whatsoever on your part, Pathmaker will generate a custom, metrics-based report that will give you a precise assessment of how your website measures up against its potential to be DYNAMIC and to be a tool that drives customers to your business.
The company’s proprietary software will scour the internet to provide you with an analysis of how your website scores relative to six key elements that are absolutely necessary for a successful internet presence. Those elements include:
- Your local search engine ratings
- Your local directory citations
- Your competitors’ local directory citations
- Your social media presence
- Your keyword rankings
- Your customer reviews
Your site will receive a score for each element, measuring the visibility of your site as a percentage of its potential. Finally, the report will give you a composite score, revealing the overall visibility of your site. A clear explanation of the findings accompanies each score, so you know where the gaps are and you have a general idea of how to address those areas that could use some improvement. You’ll even know how your visibility compares to your competitors’!
We want your website to be effective and your business to be successful. The Pathmaker Visibility Report will give you an awareness of the reality of your site’s status that will be beyond your expectations. With the insight you gain, you will know EXACTLY the steps to take to make your site exponentially more effective. They are all steps that anyone can take. If you have questions, need assistance, or would simply rather have an experienced professional do the job - Pathmaker Marketing has the resources to quickly and efficiently improve your online visibility and, ultimately, grow your business.
For your FREE Visibility Report, click here.
The Summer Games is fast approaching and are you still looking for a sermon series to preach on this occasion? Every preacher knows that there is a need to be relevant in his preaching and to make the message hit home, it must be abreast with the current events. You don't need to be an expert in Christian marketing to know this and for this reason; we have made available the Go for the Goal: Becoming a Spiritual Champion Sermon Series CD. Here are some of the advantages of preaching this sermon series:
1. Impeccable timing with the Summer Games - The Go for the Goal: Becoming a Spiritual Champion Sermon Series CD is can be preached in tandem with the Sumer Games which will start on July 27 and end on August 12. You will be preaching the most relevant and most up to date sermon series and for sure, this will have a great impact to your church outreach and congregation because they can absolutely relate to what you are talking about.
2. Leverage the media attention with your preaching - Preachers are always on the lookout for outreach ideas. The Sumer Games is expected to have great media coverage and to be able to ride on this wave will be a great advantage to your out reaches efforts. While your hearers watch the games on TV, they will remember your preaching on the topic. And do you know what this will amount to? Impact!
3. Solid Scriptural base - This sermon series is based on Hebrews 12:1-13, which is a very solid springboard to preach a series of messages on becoming spiritual champions. From July 27 to August 12, you will have a ready message that will encourage your congregation like a huge athletic team.
If you will order this sermon series, you will have in your repertoire a toolset that will inspire your hearer to have that champion mind-set. They will have that enthusiasm that will mobilize them to win the world for the Kingdom. So what are you waiting for? Order your copy of the Go for the Goal: Becoming a Spiritual Champion Sermon Series CD or contact Pathmaker Marketing for more information.
Toronto played host to this year’s mesh 12 conference on May 23 - 24, 2012 and, as usual, offered a plethora of seminars and networking opportunities. While a good deal of material was covered, two areas that were of particular interest are UNDERSTANDING YOUR WHOLE SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIENCE and INBOUND: THE FUTURE OF MARKETING.
In discussing “Your WHOLE Social Media Audience” a key term that was bantered around was “lurkers.” In essence, these individuals are your “invisible online audience,” people who may visit your site but who are not tweeting, liking or sharing your content. Lurkers may also use Facebook but don’t post, like, or share, even though they may log on to FB several times a week.
A comprehensive survey by Andrew Reid and Alexandra Samuel explains what is different about lurkers, and what you need to now about reaching them. And, this information is important, because their study showed that 68% of Canadian Facebook users are lurkers, and that for Twitter 61% log but are not posting.
Interestingly enough, lurkers do not behave the same way, nor want the same things, as sharers. As a result, most of the data available on social media audiences does not apply to the majority of the audience. Insights into this group reveal that:
- Lurkers tend to be less influential in terms of their workplace purchasing or hiring decisions
- Attitudes: Lurkers care less about being fashionable; Lurkers are more reluctant to engage in shopping.
Information alone is not enough - it is imperative that we are able to draw some marketing implications from this data. One of the main suggestions is that you might want to change the way you structure social media initiatives. For example, if you are an office supply store you may want to create two different feeds: one targeting workplace influencers (made for sharing) and another for the silent majority who might be focused on deals for home use.
Another thought is that you might also change your key metrics. Rather than shares or likes, you might want to increase your emphasis on measuring clicks and actual online transactions that are driven by social media.
In summation, the silent social media audience is value-oriented rather than being driven by trends or being ahead of the technology and/or fashion curve. They are more likely to quietly click and buy if the deal is right.
In regard to INBOUND MARKETING, Brian Halligan, founder of HubSpot, shared that INBOUND MARKETING is just the opposite of traditional OUTBOUND MARKETING - advertising, cold calls, etc. Since most of us recognize that INBOUND MARKETING is the wave of the future, it is most important that we understand how to master it as soon as possible.
According to Halligan, the key to INBOUND MARKETING is remarkable content. The reason? GOOGLE has gotten smart enough to weed out the lousy stuff! To be successful, you should:
- Create good quality that people want to engage with, publishing frequently.
- Have calls to action to get your readers to become leads
- Do lead nurturing to get those leads to become customers
- A/B Test everything to increase conversion rates. By continuously improving, you can increase conversions by 200% to 300%
- Remember the Power Laws of Inbound Marketing: Top 20% of your content will generate 80% of your traffic and leads
Halligan also said that your content needs to be relevant to your business, and it needs to not to oversell your product or service. Focus on creating value for your readers, not on selling, and use targeted calls to action to move people through your marketing funnel.
Obviously, this is a lot to digest and, if your realm of expertise is not Internet Marketing, it might even be a little overwhelming. A solution might be to contact an Internet Marketing Firm, such as PATHMAKER MARKETING LLC. Headed by founder and CEO Randall Mains, they stand ready to help you with not only these two issues, but the whole of Internet Marketing.
If you are having a local fundraising event, why not exploit Facebook and email to get the word out? I mean let’s face it, who do you think doesn’t have Facebook or an email account? If you can get the word out through these media, you can expect more results and lesser expenses compared to having to rely mainly on flyers and tarpaulins.
How to use Facebook
Facebook is not only a good way to connect with relatives and friends, it also an excellent tool to announce a fundraising event. Think about it, what you’ve got in there is already a captured audience, compared to flyers and tarpaulins wherein people can choose not to read or even look at them. People on Facebook can choose to ignore you as well but, it is less likely because what you’ve got there are people who know and trust you. Here’s how you can use Facebook to promote a fundraising event:
1. Create and event - Create an event in Facebook ideally on the Fundraiser’s own account. Make sure that after you filled in the necessary details, that you click “anyone can view and RSVP” so that it is made public. You should also click “show guest list on event page” so that people can see who are invited and can invite new people.
Once the event goes live and you have invited your friends and they have RSVP, their friends can now see it on their wall too. This will make your invitation viral.
2. Post the event on your wall - On your personal Facebook account, you can also post the event on your wall and invite your friends too. If this is a ticket event, make sure to post a link to where they can buy the tickets.
3. Post regular updates - Make sure to post regular updates so that those who are coming will be informed. Soon the event will be on your friend’s, friends and friends wall too.
How to Use Email
Before there was Facebook, email is the way to send our words for fundraising and it still a very effective tool to inform. A lot of infomercials are still using emails and the trend will like to continue in the years to come. Here’s how you can use email to send the word out:
1. Design the flow of mails - You don’t just send the mails blindly, it has to follow a design flow. For example, you can start with a request, then you follow it up with supporting quotes and related client’s story. You can then send a third mail encouraging people to donate and a fourth, thanking them.
2. Build an subscriber list - We have put together an article detailing the importance of a quality subscriber list. If the list is not qualified, you cannot expect a good performance.
3. Create an effective email - When writing an email for fundraising, make sure that you fill in the necessary details but don’t make it too verbose that the recipient will be tempted to delete it.
4. Choose the best broadcast tool - This is the caveat of email; without a good broadcast tool, you will be sending it one by one or you can cc it to everybody in the list. A broadcast tool will make the job a lot easier because it can send thousands of emails at once.
When creating a charity event, your goal should be to minimize the overall expenses so that all the proceeds raised will go directly to the charity. Using Facebook and email accomplished just this so if you haven’t done it yet, you better start now.
One of the most frustrating, and on-going challenges for churches, para church ministries and non-profit organizations is fundraising. There are of course, some “tried and true” methods, but everyone is always looking for new ways to accomplish this goal. Technology is opening some new doors, and one of those is email fundraising.
Pathmaker Marketing, LLC, an E-mail Marketing Firm, has been most successful in assisting their clients with e-mail fundraising. Truly E-Mail Marketing Specialists, they know that there are several things to keep in mind when you begin your email fundraising campaign.
First, you need to use your common sense. You are, after all, raising money for a cause. As a result, you are going to be most successful when you contact individuals who are already supporters of that cause. Here, you do want to “preach to the choir.” Your goal is not to solicit new supporters. As a result, you will want to use your current database of supporters. Again, this is not a “prospecting tool”!
You also need to consider that this program works best when it is part of an over-all communications strategy. This includes utilizing the mail, phone, and “in person” contacts. These all have their own individual strengths and, when combined with your e-mail campaign, will result in you being most effective.
As any Professional E-Mail Marketing Service will tell you, email has its own set of metrics. First of all, you need to keep in mind that e-mail is always lower than direct mail. It is, however, still profitable as there are no printing or postage charges. Too, seldom will an email campaign yield “monster” gifts, as the largest we have seen were between $1000 - $2000 each. Keeping this all in mind should allow you to ensure that your expectations are within the parameters of not only possibility but probability, allowing you to view the results with realistic insight.
Just as in any mode of fundraising, you must remember that “people give to people” more than organizations. As a result, you want your e-mail to come from your chief fundraiser, such as your CEO or pastor. Have the email look like a letter and be personalized. “Dear Fred” goes a lot farther than “Dear Friend.”
To “enhance the chance” of filling your coffers via an email campaign, you need a substantial e-mail list. As a result, you may need to go an E-Mail Marketing Company and spend some money to help bolster your list. Do know that a really small list can be cost prohibitive for using HTML, and you may want to employ TEXT as a result.
In the day and age that we live one thing is as true as it ever was - - it doesn’t matter how good you are or how competitive your prices are if no one knows about you! As a result, the age-old challenge of making sure that potential clients find you continues to rage on. Currently, however, the secret to achieving this goal no longer revolves around the yellow pages, billboards nor, to some extent, even radio and TV advertising. Rather, the key, the “secret” if you would, to marketing success pretty much revolves around the Internet and Social Media!
This realm can, without a doubt, be over-whelming to the average businessman. While volumes and volumes have been written on this topic, there are five “golden nuggets’ that will at least give you a “jump-start” in the Marketing World of the 21st Century!
1. CREATE A LOCAL PRESENCE ON THE BIG THREE SEARCH ENGINES - These are, of course, GOOGLE PLACES, YAHOO LOCAL, and BING LOCAL (BUSINESS PORTAL).
2. GET LISTED IN AS MANY LOCAL DIRECTORIES AS POSSIBLE - These can run the gamut from “Angie’s List” to “Hot Frog” and includes things like:
3. CREATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES - Including Company Accounts (not personal) in FOURSQUARE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LINKED IN and YOU TUBE.
4. ENCOURAGE CLIENTS TO WRITE AND POST POSITIVE REVIEW IN GOOGLE PLACES (and YAHOO AND BING) and LOCAL DIRECTORIES such as ANGIE’S LIST - There are several excellent ways to accomplish this.
5. PURSUE SEARCH ENGINE RANKING ON YOUR TARGETED LOCAL KEYWORDS - Example: Plumber - Dallas - Texas
As you can imagine, there are numerous steps necessary to accomplish the above steps, and, to learn what they are, go to Pathmaker Marketing.
There is, without a doubt, nary a pastor or church in the country that doesn’t want to get more visitors to come to their church. With a pure heart and a message to share, their intent is to provide for those visitors programs and services that will enhance and improve their life style. As the 21st Century dawns it has become obvious to email marketing specialists that the Internet is a wonderful way for churches to evangelize and make themselves known to a lost world. Randall Mains, Founder and CEO of PATH-MAKER MARKETING LLC, one of the premier e-mail marketing professionals in the country, agrees that the following steps are an easy way to inform prospective visitors about your church and what it has to offer.
Launch Google Ad Words - - Target Geographically
Get your CHURCH found on Google by claiming your Google Place.
Get your members to give your positive reviews on Google Places.
Claim your Bing Listing
Claim your Yahoo Listing
Launch Facebook Ads - Target Demographically
O[pen a Facebook Page for your church.
Get listed in the top 40 directories in your community.
Get an account in Linkedin, the Top business directory.
Get an account in the other top 9 business directories.
Get a twitter account for your church.
Get a flcker account.
Open a channel in Youtube.
Open a channel in Vimeo.
Open up blog accounts in Blogspot, Typepad, Blogsome, Blogger, Etc.
AND HERE ARE THREE BONUS STEPS!!!!
Put out an email blast to a local email list.
Put out a send out card.
Take an AD in a local christian directory - Most have an Online Directory
As an email marketing company, PATHMAKER MARKETING, LLC knows that the above
suggestions will work, if given the time to develop. If you need a professional e-mail marketing firm to help you accomplish the above, PATHMAKER and Randall Mains stand ready to assist you. To learn more, go to Pathmaker Marketing.
It is obvious that any successful endeavor is the result of someone developing and implementing a specific, successful strategy. Email Fundraising is no exception. Any e-mail marketing professional worth their salt knows this to be true. And, a real e-mail marketing specialist will tell you that there are actually five strategies that you can employ to ensure that your email marketing program is, in fact, a successful one.
I. E-MAILS TIED TO CURRENT EVENTS - This is pretty self-explanatory. What you need to do is keep abreast with the news and develops an email campaign that revolves around what is transpiring. This, of course, is dependent on the fact that your cause is one that is news worthy. A good example of this might be if you are part of a Tornado Relief Fund. During Tornado Season there are ample news stories for you to mount a most effective e-mail program around.
II. MONTHLY “THEMED” E-MAIL CAMPAIGNS - Virtually every month has a holiday or event that you can “build” an e-mail fundraising campaign around. For example, May lends itself to two causes: Unwed Mothers and Veterans. Mother’s Day allows you to touch people’s heartstrings regarding those moms who have no one to help care for them and their needs, and Memorial Day is a “natural” for seeking aid for our War Veterans.
III. DIRECT MAIL/E-MAIL COMBO - E-Mail Marketing Firms will tell you that the advent of an email marketing campaign should not be the demise of other fundraisers that have worked for you in the past. In this instance, you should come up with a Direct Mail offer and send it out. Then, some seven to ten days later you follow up with an e-mail version of the same offer. Together these allow you to really enhance the chance of success of your fundraising efforts.
IV. MEDIA/E-MAIL COMBO - Again, you are utilizing more than one method to supplement your fundraising efforts. In this situation, you make your offer on either the Radio or TV. Then, you follow up later that same day with an e-mail that re-enforces your initial offer. This should not be a “Current Event” driven email but, rather, be centered on a pre-conceived offer that you present.
V. “STAND ALONE” E-MAIL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN - Here, you want to make an offer that is totally exclusive to the e-mail you send. To make these most effective, it is wise to have a time limit in which recipients must respond to benefit from your offer. Remember, all such offers should revolve around and be related to the cause you are trying to raise funds for.
If you find all of this a little overwhelming, you may want to contact a Professional E-Mail Marketing Service like PATHMAKER MARKETING, LLC to assist you with your email marketing undertakings. An e-mail marketing company of long standing, we not only knows how to implement these five strategies; we also have a track record of success that you will find most impressive!
Understandably, the first question that might come to mind is, “Why should we add a Digital Outreach to our church?” Well, there are a host of reasons you might want to pursue new ideas for outreach, and the reasons for Digital Outreach are indicated below:
- You will have the ability to reach out beyond the confines of your church to a greater, broader community.
- If your church currently ‘serves” those in a ten mile radius, your Digital Ministry can go nationwide, or even international
- It will allow you to better fill the Great Commission, per Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
- Allow you a way of ministering to a vast mission field!
After wondering “why” to go Digital, the next natural concern is “what to do” to go Digital. You may want to establish a Digital Outreach Team, which will coordinate with those in charge of creating other ideas for church outreach. Together, they can create a plan to implement all your outreach ministry ideas. Following are fifteen suggestions to help you create a Digital Ministry.
1. Launch Prayer Walls - An excellent way to facilitate outreach to people’s needs can be added to the website or church Facebook page.
2. Establish an E-Mail Campaign - That people can receive for free, like “40 Days to a Happier Marriage”.
3. Set up a Facebook Page For your Church
4. Offer Free Downloads - White papers on various topics such as “Three Weeks to overcoming a Negative Thought Life” or “10 Biblical Steps to Getting your Financial House in Order.”
5. Offer Electronic Bible Studies - “How to Establish & Improve Your Prayer Life.”
6. Translate your Website into a Foreign Language - Preferably the predominant one in the area you serve.
7. Turn Pastor’s Sermon Series into e-books
8. “Stream” your Services on your Website and/or upload videos to You Tube
9. Place “Teaching Videos” on You Tube - Pastor having a “conversational chat” on various topics via digi-cam.
10. Develop an “Articles Archive” - Written on a variety of topics, you are basically creating an “Online Library”.
11. Develop an “Online” Bookstore
12. Develop a “Bulletin Board Forum” to discuss various topics/issues
13. Establish an “e Learning Center” - Classes on virtually any topic: Bible Studies
14. Create a “Christian Calendar” - Upcoming Events, Local & National
15. Have a Church Blog - Discuss current events and life today from a Biblical point of view (Movies, Political Issues).
AND HERE’S A “BONUS” STEP!!!
1. Create a Prayer Chain - “Text Message” Prayer Chain
Now that you know “why” and “what,” visit Pathmaker Marketing to learn “how!”
Make no mistake about it, we do live in an entertaining world! And, whatever entertains us the most is going to get our attention. That is why the talented e-mail marketing experts at Pathmaker Marketing LLC stand ready to help you design and employ a major technological breakthrough - - Animated E-Mails!
One of the main things that you need to know, and keep in mind, regarding Animated E-mails is the fact that the methods used to generate Animation on a Web page are restricted for an E-Mail. For example, websites can use FLASH, JAVA and a variety of other technologies. With E-Mails, however, the major technology is Animated Gifs.
Most professional email marketing services will tell you that Animated Gifs is “old school,” and has been around for quite some time. Like most forms of technology, there are a number of people around who dabble in this particular medium without being really proficient in it. That’s where Pathmaker Marketing LLC , an email marketing firm, comes in— as they are qualified, experienced, and immensely prolific!
While Animated Gifs is “the way to go,” it is not without its restrictions. For example, a Gif with a lot of frames creates a large file, which causes the E-Mail to load slowly. In a day when two seconds seems like an eternity, a slow opening E-Mail runs the risk of immediate deletion. Too, while most E-Mail Boxes will display Animated Gifs just fine, Outlook 7 is an exception.
Still, within these parameters creativity can abound. Check out the addresses below to see some of the better Animated Gifs currently on the Internet:
Pathmaker Marketing LLC recently accepted the challenge of something totally spectacular - - including a countdown within a client’s E-Mails! The process began by creating a countdown for their Website (for an example of a countdown on a Website go to http://www.flashxml.net/countdown.html). With a visual style to work with we were able to develop animation for their E-Mails, and were able to dovetail it with their Website countdown (http://jerusalemprayerteam.org/email/archive/0818.asp). While it appears that the countdown is actually taking place in the E-Mail, this is an illusion that we created, giving only the impression of a countdown. This was accomplished by using only fifty-three (53) frames, thus making it a manageable size.
To learn how, exactly, you and your Company can benefit from an Animated E-Mail Program prepared by an email marketing specialist you need to contact Pathmaker Marketing LLC to schedule a private phone conversation as quickly as possible. After all, you want to entertain everyone you send E-Mails to!
While the number of changes regarding the Internet seems to come Geometrically rather than Arithmetically, email marketing experts know that there is one standard that is vitally important to successful E-Mail Campaigns: HTML. The abbreviated form of Hyper Text Markup Language, HTML is basically the "Computer Language” that is read by browsers and lets it know how to display things in your E-Mail, from Font to Colors and from where images are positioned to paragraph breaks!
The email marketing professional is aware that while there are a number of Internet Languages, not all are suitable for E-Mails. For example, a popular, and effective, language for Websites is CSS or Custom Style Sheet. However, most ISPs tend to "strip out” CSS in e-mails, thus making the E-mail that was CSS unreadable and, obviously, ineffective. While your designated recipient will receive your E-Mail, there is no idea what it will look like, so avoid CSS when designing HTML E-Mails. Another language not supported by E-Mail is Flash. Avoid that in HTML E-Mails as well.
Another Language, and a relatively simple one, is simply known as "Text.” Unfortunately, Text has some major disadvantages compared to HTML. For example, you cannot include any images in Text, nor can you "track” your E-Mails to determine who’s opening them and who isn’t. Inasmuch as both of these are vitally important in an effective E-Mail Campaign, it is most apparent why HTML is superior to Text. Any professional email marketing service will be quick to point this out to you.
Knowing HTML and using it to code your E-Mails is just the first step. To ensure that your recipients are receiving the E-Mail the way it looked when you sent it, you need to follow up and discover how each "E-Mail Box” is rendering the E-Mail when it comes in. There are a number of "ISPs,” with the most prevalent being AOL, G-Mail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Outlook. Prior to doing a "Mass Mailer” it is imperative that you send a sample to each "Box” and verify that it is being rendered properly. As can be imagined, a poor looking E-mail does not speak well of your company and/or organization.
Not everyone understands the subtlety of HTML and the way to "check” an E-Mail’s rendering in any of the Boxes. As a result, it may be wise to have a direct email marketing firm like Pathmaker Marketing LLC, whom employs a group of talented experts who stand ready to assist clients in the skillful art of HTML Coding. Dedicated to producing effective E-mails and making sure that they are rendered properly in every Box, these email marketing companies produce E-mail Campaigns that not only present their client’s position but also deliver results.
If your goal is to achieve success on the Internet by becoming a viable email Marketing Firm, you need to have at least a working knowledge of ESPs, and be able to decide which one, exactly, will serve your needs best. That’s why email Marketing Specialists have done the leg-work to identify and research the various ESPs to determine which one will serve you best.
Unbeknownst to many, ESPs fall into three levels: Entry, Mid, and Elite. Following is a sampling of ESPs in each category:
Typically, unless your Mailing List exceeds 10,000 you need not go above the “Entry” Level. With this information in mind, email marketing experts can evaluate your needs and help you determine which ESP would be best for you! If you are involved in Professional email Marketing, choosing the correct ESP is a must!
Make no mistake about it, in this day and age you need to get into an ESP if you haven’t already done so, and many direct mail marketing firms, like Pathmaker Marketing LLC, stand ready to help you select the one best suited for your needs. If you are already in one, they can help maximize its use to increase your level of success!
To learn how, exactly, you can involve yourself with the ESP that will best meet your needs, you need to contact an email marketing professional like those at Pathmaker Marketing LLC to schedule a private phone conversation as quickly as possible. After all, reaching people via the proper ESP is an important step in ensuring email Marketing success, and can be easily accomplished with the help of an email marketing company like Pathmaker Marketing LLC!If your goal is to achieve success on the Internet by becoming a viable email Marketing Firm, you need to have at least a working knowledge of ESPs, and be able to decide which one, exactly, will serve your needs best. That’s why email Marketing Specialists have done the leg-work to identify and research the various ESPs to determine which one will serve you best.
E-Mail Tied to Current Events
Monthly “Themed” E-Mail Campaigns
Direct Mail/E-Mail Combo
“Stand Alone” E-Mail Fundraising Campaign
If yours is an enterprise that can be considered "B to C” - Business to Consumer - then E-mail Marketing is something that you not only need to be aware of, but need to be participating in. This is especially true if "coupons,” or special offers/special events serves a vital role in your Marketing Program. With Restaurants and certain Retail Shops, E-Mail Marketing is pretty apt to be your ticket to "Marketing Paradise.” It can work well for churches as well!
In order to explain the process in detail, let’s use a Restaurant and a church as our examples as to how the program works. To begin with, we need to realize that there are two major challenges in implementing an effective E-Mail Marketing Program: Building your contact list and coming up with viable offers to send to your list. The key to building your list is that you have to provide a reason for people to join. In the case of the Restaurant, you might offer a "2 for 1” coupon, or a "20% Off” your next order when they sign up. You provide patrons the opportunity to enroll while they are in your establishment, and at that time you explain that future coupons will be forthcoming when they "enroll” with you. A Church might offer a free White Paper on Prayer or How to Enjoy Better Family Life for signing up.
Once you have a list to work with, you can start your E-Mail Marketing Program. You might send out coupons for Karaoke Night, or for Holiday Discounts, or maybe even to join you for Monday Night Football. It is important to remember that an E-Mail Marketing Program is primarily to provide your business with "spikes,” corresponding to the event or holiday. Inasmuch as E-Mails tend to have a short "shelf life,” these are good for “short term” promotions.
Churches might want to offer an invitation to a special Holiday Service or even a “Movie Night” or special musical presentation. Again, the idea is to get people into the church so that you can determine what their needs are and how you can help meet those needs.
Regardless of the type of business you own and/or are promoting, there are several important facts you need to keep in mind when building your E-Mail Program. Most importantly, perhaps, is the fact that you will want to design your coupons in HTML. This not only allows you to develop and forward an "attractive” coupon that will render properly, it also provides you with the means to "track” your E-Mails, allowing you to know how many of them are being opened and even how many recipients are "clicking through.”
One of the paramount challenges for churches and para-churches is fundraising. While there are a number of “tried and true” methods available, the advent of the Internet and email has created paradigm shifts that mandate to enjoy continued success it is going to be necessary to stay on the “cutting edge” of technology. Since ministry is the major concern of these institutions, it is probable that they will want to benefit from the experience and expertise of an email-marketing specialist with a successful email marketing firm such as Randall Mains and PATHMAKER MARKETING LLC.
Randall, a PK, grew up understanding the importance of fundraising. If you're like his Dad, the Rev. David Mains, asking for money isn't your favorite pastoral activity. But, you do it because that's how you fund everything from keeping the lights on in the sanctuary to paying salaries to supporting ministries that present the life-changing message of the Gospel to hungry souls.
Over the past 25+ years, God has blessed Randall to help numerous churches and ministries with their fundraising needs through some specific skills that he has learned in life. His experience spans a variety of areas... radio, direct mail, various fundraisers, publishing, product sales, but (most recently), raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through online efforts such as email fundraising.
Here's what he was able to accomplish for one growing church in Chicago:
The church retained him to help them open up new channels for funding their growing outreach ministry, which includes a church, radio ministry, television ministry, international humanitarian efforts, and the sale of the pastor's books and teachings.
His first step was to help them build their email list. They were sending people to their website, but they weren't capturing as many email addresses as they could. In addition to offering general technical support for their store, he installed 3 important things.
1. He upgraded their website with an eNewsletter sign-up form and dedicated, benefits-oriented landing page to secure new email addresses. Together, these have gotten them thousands of new emails addresses - both to add to their mailing list and to replace those that inevitably fall off of mailings lists when people change email addresses or simply move on.
2. He installed an eight-week series of welcome emails. Not only do these emails run on autopilot for ease of use, but they also introduce new acquaintances to the various aspects of their ministry.
3. He went to work raising funds from the people on their email list. He writes, designs, codes, installs, and blasts a regular eAppeal for them that raises over $10,000 each month.
Below are several Email Fundraising Case Studies that will give you a solid idea as to what Randall can accomplish:
A. For a church in Chicago, who contracted with them to do their email fundraising, they recently filed a recent report that showed they helped the church raise $127,739 through email in 2010.
B. For a large broadcast ministry in Phoenix, they conducted a 13-month email campaign that reaped 1,816 gifts for a total of $190,887 in income, netting them $158,387 after considering all expenses.
C. They also have served several television ministries. One from the East Coast first contacted them for help with good web communications. That quickly grew into a successful eMail Marketing effort that has generated $750,000 in email donations from 9,000 gifts during their 53-month relationship to help them fund their ministry endeavors. For 2011, their email fundraising income was over $200,000 in an otherwise dismal economy.
As you can see, it would probably behoove you to make arrangements to work with email marketing experts like Randall and PATHMAKER MARKETING LLC sooner rather than later!
The "special gift" can be a downloadable White Paper that elaborates on how you and your company can assist them. This White Paper should not only elaborate on the services/products you offer, but also convince the reader at the very least they should give you and your company a closer look!
Contact with your "visitor," however, should not end there! Your first follow up to your initial contact should probably come in the form of a coupon for their first order. This could be either a "percent off," or perhaps a free gift with the purchase of an established amount on their first order.
How many contacts should you make? An email marketing specialist will advise you to always keep in mind that the basic concept in using the "Welcome Series" is to get beyond the "Acquaintance Stage" and get people “up to speed” in regard to what you do and who you are! Your goal is to get people involved with your company as soon as possible and as much as possible!
Keeping in mind that this program is to help you develop a relationship with your customers, the "Welcome Series" program works equally well with Businesses and Charitable Organizations. In either case, this program does, in fact, get people up to speed in regard to what you do and who you are!
Perhaps the best way to envision what the "Welcome Series" helps you accomplish is through the use of the Development World's "Pyramid Model." In that particular Model, the "base" is where most people who contact your company/organization are located. The more involved they become with you, the further they "move up" the Pyramid. The goal, of course, is to get them to the very pinnacle of the Pyramid, where you have become an integral part of their world!
You may have noted that many companies and/or organizations already have a "Welcome Series" that they use via the U.S. Mail. With our experience and expertise, Pathmaker Marketing LLC can coordinate the two rather easily. With the transition of our world to the electronic age, this might be an excellent way to make the transition from "snail mail" to "e-mail!"
To learn how, exactly, you and your Company can benefit from an E-Welcome Program you will want to contact an email marketing firm sooner rather than later! After all, you want everyone to reach the pinnacle of your Pyramid!